Press Conference Transcripts Regarding NCAA Decisions
Oct. 12, 2006
LAWRENCE, Kan. – <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Below is a statement from University of Kansas Chancellor Dr. Robert Hemenway on Thursday’s NCAA decision regarding KU’s infractions case:
“By now I assume you have all read the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ decision. I want to emphasize what should be very clear: this was a major infractions case. We knew it when we met with you in July of last year, after delivering our self-report to the NCAA. We knew it as we cooperated with the NCAA’s own investigation, and when we met with you again this spring after receiving the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations. And we were forthright about it when we met with the Committee on Infractions in August.
“Very little in the committee’s report surprises us, because not only did we report these facts to the NCAA, we also thought them serious enough to impose penalties upon ourselves that we thought were appropriate at the time. The committee confirmed what we have said from the beginning: Serious violations occurred. The committee accepted our self-imposed penalties, and in some cases added their own. But the committee has been very fair with us. We trust the process, and we accept the committee’s judgment.
“This is a process that speaks to the integrity of intercollegiate athletics. It is a process that deserves our respect. We fell short of the high standards we set for ourselves, and now it is appropriate that we accept the sanctions the Committee has imposed and move forward. We will not appeal the sanctions. We discovered we had a problem, we fixed the problem, and are ready to move forward with a much stronger compliance program.
hese penalties could have been more severe. But as the committee noted, the current athletics administration, under the direction of Lew Perkins, has strengthened and more adequately staffed the athletics compliance office. We are pleased that, in its consideration of appropriate penalties, the committee also acknowledged KU’s self-imposed penalties, corrective actions, our cooperation with the NCAA enforcement staff, and our thorough self-investigation.
“We are disappointed that we had to go through this process. But we will be a better university for it – a more NCAA-compliant university.
“I want to publicly reaffirm our commitment to compliance: Our strong education effort will ensure that coaches, student-athletes and fans have a better understanding of NCAA rules. We intend to abide by the spirit and the letter of those rules so that this great university never has to go through this again.”
Transcript from the Oct. 12 Press Conference
Speaking is Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Athletics Director Lew Perkins and Rick Evrard, partner in Bond, Schoeneck and King, LLP of Overland Park, Kan., and outside counsel of Kansas Athletics. Football coach Mark Mangino, women’s basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson and men’s basketball coach Bil Self’s quotes follow Hemenway, Perkins and Evrard.
Q: Do you think there was enough self-imposed punishments for the men’s basketball team?
Perkins: “I do not think it is a question of punishing time. Basically, when a violation like that occurs we did the standard for what is in the NCAA book. We asked them and talked to them and they gave us some guidelines. Based on the information we had at that particular time of the self-report, we thought we did the appropriate thing. As most of you know, we found out more information after we self-reported and obviously we just waited until the NCAA came back to us.”
Q: So if you had found out the infractions prior to the self-report, the punishments would have been greater?
Q: Does the loss of scholarships for the football program affect Head Football Coach Mark Mangino’s new contract at all?
Perkins: “I want to make it real clear, and I think that if you listened to what Gene said, that there was no indication at all that Head Coach Mark Mangino was involved in any of these infractions. Based on what Gene said and based on our knowledge, we really feel like that Mark was not involved in any of that. His new contract and old contract was not affected by this process. And the NCAA made it very clear, I think Gene said, today I listened to the report and somebody asked him about if the head coach was involved and I think it was a one-word answer: `No.'”
Q: Have either of you (Perkins or Hemenway) spoken to Roy Williams since the NCAA report has come out?
Q: Were you surprised that the NCAA added more sanctions to the men’s basketball team, even after Darnell Jackson’s nine-game suspension last year?
Perkins: “I think as I just mentioned, we found out a whole bunch more information that happened after we self-imposed. We really felt like at the end of the day that the NCAA was going to come down with something else. We were not surprised by that.”
Q: I believe the previous athletic director was quoted saying, “Compliance does not sell tickets.” If you had heard that, how would that have made you feel?
Hemenway: “Well, he never said that to me, and I think you can just about imagine if he ever had.”
Q: Since there was obviously a fund for compliance under previous athletic directors, but the compliance department was understaffed. Do you know where that money was going that was supposed to be for the compliance department?
Perkins: “I do not know the answer to that.”
Q: Chancellor, how does it make you feel that this sort of punishment to the athletic department has occurred under your watch?
Hemenway: “I think that anytime that you have a finding of a lack of institutional control, meaning that as an institution we failed to do the things we should have done. I think everybody at the institution has to bear the responsibility for that. I’m no different than anybody else, but the point that I do feel good about is that we identified that we had a problem, and we fixed the problem with the new athletic administration. I’m very pleased with what has happened over the course of time that Lew has been here. I think we have in place now a foundation that we should never have to worry again. We are putting a proper emphasis upon compliance. It does not mean you can control everything that has to do with compliance. It does mean that we have a system of compliance in place that if we will stick to it will serve us very well into the future.”
Q: Chancellor, if you could go back, what would you have done differently?
Hemenway: “At a university like KU, the chancellor is always involved in everything. Everything is on your watch and you have to be concerned about everything that has to happen. But as you heard Gene Marsh say in the NCAA press conference, you can not expect the Chancellor to be hanging around the athletic department everyday.”
Q: Was Mark Mangino involved with any of the football-related infractions?
Perkins: “I think Mark is sad that it happened under his watch. He regrets that it happened. In intercollegiate athletics there is so much going on, there are so many things going on, and obviously I was just coming on at that time. In all my discussions talking to people, to graduate assistants, to kids and everybody that I could possibly talk to and I know that Rick (Evrard) has talked to even more of people, that Mark was never even remotely involved in that kind of thing. Coulda, shoulda, woulda? We can all say that, but I really just want to continue to say that everything that we know, that Mark Mangino was not involved and that was what we concluded.”
Q: How is it possible for any Division I-A coach that has 10 years of coaching experience not know that giving any gifts to graduating players is impermissible? And how would any athletic department not let him know that that is wrong?
Perkins: “You are asking a very difficult question, because I have to comment about something when I was not there. At least what I’ve read, and I think you are asking about what happened with Roy (Williams), and it sounded like Roy asked some people and got an answer that he thought it was okay to do. Again, if you have ever read the NCAA rule book, it is about that big. There are so many rules in the book. I’ll give you a great example, not to prolong the question, but I remember when my younger daughter got married and one of her best friends was in the wedding and we paid for all the bridesmaids to come to the wedding and she was a student-athlete at the University of Connecticut. After she got married, I felt funny about it and I asked Rick and he said `I think you violated an NCAA rule.’ And obviously, the girl had to reimburse us for it. My point to this whole thing is that there are so many rules in there, and the fact that the coach asked somebody in compliance, `Can I do this?’ At least in his mind he got the right answer. I mean it can happen! I do not think there is any intent, that is the big issue. I do not think anybody was trying to hurt us.”
Q: How do you prevent fans and alumni from making mistakes when, perhaps, they are unaware that they are breaking rules violations?
Perkins: “I think this process right now as we speak is an educational process for all of our alumni and fans. What we have done over the years, we have a question and answer brochure that we send out every year. Obviously, it cannot address every question that the book has, but we always say that before you do anything, and I mean anything with a student-athlete, please call our compliance office or call somebody in the athletic department, and get an `Okay to do that.’ That is the only way that we can do it and we let people know that. We do not care the if you know the answer or do not know the answer, call us and let us know what you are trying to do. Usually, when people call we can find a way through the NCAA to help them. Sometimes it is a flat `No’, and that is just the way it is, but it is education, education, education, education. Communications and lots of communications and with that you can still have a violation.”
Chancellor: “That is really part of the NCAA infractions process. It is a big rule book. There are a lot of ways that you are confronted with a series of regulations all the time. The infractions process is designed to make sure that the institutions understand their responsibility and everybody has to respect that infractions process. That is why it would not be appropriate for us to appeal even if we objected to the way the particular situation is characterized. You have got to have some way to enforce anyone and everyone who is interested in intercollegiate athletics to impress upon them how important it is to be fully educated on what you can and can not do if you are going to play by the rules. And that is the key, we are going to play by the rules on the playing field and we are going to play by the rules in all the other aspects in athletics.”
Q: How did you guys find out about Don Davis and the rules that he apparently broke with regards to Darnell Jackson?
Hemenway: “I had not met Mr. Davis until that night and he was just talking about his knowledge of some of our players and his association with some of our players and it just seemed to me to be a little bit too intimate, in the way that he was talking. When I came back from that alumni event, the next morning I talked to Lew and said I think we should really check on this. I guess the point that this illustrates is this — if you are at the university, compliance and enforcement is everybody’s responsibility and that is why I felt an obligation to ask Lew to check on that and I’m glad that we did.”
Q: Chancellor, what sort of steps do you have to take to make sure that another compliance error occurs?
Perkins: “I think the way I’d answer that is this: everybody understands that there is an obligation to compliance but we also have an obligation to instill the systems that will enable compliance to take place without any kinds of heroic efforts. We are glad to make the heroic efforts if they are necessary but you start with that commitment to compliance and I do not think that anybody has ever questioned that there is that commitment to compliance but you have got to also have a system that will help educate others about compliance and will help other players know what their responsibilities are and also fans. You just have to keep after it day after day and you just have to make sure you can build the system.
Q: Why was this decision delayed two weeks? They said the decision would come out in 5-7 weeks, but this is the ninth week.
Perkins: “I think that they go at their own pace. People could have been out-of-town. There is no magical reason to it. We just kept waiting. I really do not think that there is anything to worry about.”
Q: Is there a comment to be made about big-time BCS college athletics that something like this could happen?
Hemenway: “I would have felt the same whether I was in a position of leadership or not. I think the very fact that it is big-time athletics and that it is BCS-caliber athletics that we play, I think that shows it is even stronger evidence that we have got to make sure that we play by the rules, and that we are not trying to advantage of the rules and gain some unfair advantage. I’m a little hokey about this, but I really believe that intercollegiate athletics teach you a lot about life. I think we are going to learn from going through this experience, even as difficult as it has been. I think it should not be any different really at the BCS level as it is at the NAIA level. I think sport has a tremendous influence on us as a society, we have got to honor that passion that we have about sports and make sure that the rules are being observed as well.”
Q: Question pertaining to the football violations of a graduate assistant supplying answers on class exams.
Evrard: “I think that the NCAA report speaks specifically to, at least to the degree in which the committee felt comfortable in handing out that kind of information. There is nothing in the report that is different than what we found. My feeling that both of those individuals cooperated in the investigation and told us what they knew and some of it conflicted with other information that we were learning which made the institution in a difficult position to be in, whether to draw conclusions on violations or not, but I think what is presented to the committee, the committee had an ability to come to a conclusion about the institution.”
Q: Was there a difference of reports, as far as a, he said battle between a player and graduate assistant in regards to the football violations?
Evrard: “My reaction and my perception of the degree to which they were cooperating and being honest with the university was that they were and what they were telling us is what they believed. And frankly, that is a very important part of our role as independent investigators, to try and measure the credibility of individuals that we speak with and we presented that to the committee and I think, in the end, the committee came to the same conclusions we did. I think that they were truth-tellers, though.”
Q: How many compliance officers do you have currently?
Perkins: “We have five full-time and we have another position that might be hiring. When I came it was a half.”
Q: Do you feel like football got off light in regards to the punishments?
Perkins: “I’m not going to make any judgement about that. My feeling is that we accept the penalties and I’m not doing the math with plus and minuses. This is what it is and as you know, I’m usually a half-full cup guy and it is time for us to look forward and not look in the past. I do not have any control over what they do and do not do.”
Q: There was an initial report about another potential violation in the self-report. What did that potential violation entail and did the NCAA act on it?
Perkins: “I think that I recall that specific reference. The information that we reported was ultimately reported to the NCAA as a potential secondary violation for them to make a determination on and they concluded that there was no violation and that is what we reported and that is why it was not a part of the post-allegations. They deemed there was no violation.”
Q: Lew, did you know when you took the job how bad of shape the compliance department was?
Perkins: “I did not know when I took the job, but I became aware within my first 24 hours and I got very concerned. We took some very quick and serious actions right away. I want to be real clear about a couple of things. When I was hired, I sat down with the Chancellor and he was forthright about compliance and how serious he thought it should be. And everyday that I have been since I have been for three years, there has never been a day where I did not feel like compliance was not an important here at this institution, especially from the chancellor. I did think it was unusual for a school of this size to basically have half a person and we took immediate actions to rectify that. I think it is important to know that I do not care if we had money in the budget or if we did not have money in the budget — we were going to have a strong compliance department. When you are trying to build an athletic department there are certain priorities, and compliance and student health, our medical staff, and academic support are the three most important things you can have. We might not win games because of some other reasons, but we are going to have the best sports medicine, academic support and compliance departments that we can have.”
Q: So what was your gut reaction when you saw the problems in the athletic department?
Perkins: “I said `uh-oh.’ We had better get this corrected pretty quickly.”
Q: Do you have a system of checks and balances now to make sure this does not happen again? And did you think you came down too hard on the self-imposed penalties for the women’s team?
Perkins: “I’m going to let Rick answer that question about the basketball because I think that is important. We could have 250 compliance people and still not catch everything. Or you could have one. There are some schools that have one. This is my own personal philosophy: I think you hire great people in compliance. I think you hire people that are knowledgeable, and I think we have that now. You hire people that have experience and have been around a bit. They will tell you what they need. I tell our compliance manager that if you need something you are going to get it. I’m not a compliance person, I have to be and should know compliance but one thing that I have known my whole life and career is that hire people around me that know more than I do, and the compliance people are no different. Rick would you answer the second part.”
Evrard: “I want to say one thing before I answer this question specifically. Yesterday, when the Chancellor had the opportunity to read this report, his most violent reaction was that someone is going to be perceive this to be a misperception that we treated men’s basketball differently than women’s basketball, because the language in the report says that there is a `wholly disproportionate penalty in women’s basketball than there is in men’s basketball.’ The Chancellor was very concerned about that. I had the opportunity to speak this morning with the administrator with the NCAA who works with the committee on infractions to make sure they understood what happened. Really, it is a chronological timeline that you have to understand to see what happened. When we first got involved in doing this investigation there was some women’s basketball issues. We investigated those issues. During the period of the time we were investigating, the women’s basketball coaches were removed from their positions and they were no longer here. When we finished the investigation we wanted to do some follow-up interviews with the women’s basketball coaches and I think on the advice of counsel, or for whatever reason, they did not cooperate with our initial requests. We finished the investigation with that type of information that we did not have the full picture. Chancellor and Lew said that we are going to take the high road and we are going to conclude that violations occurred because the weight of the balance and the weight of the balance seemed to be on the side that violations occurred. So when we self-reported that was the conclusion. And a part of the consideration was the fact that we did not have the opportunity to talk to all the principles. We then submitted the self-imposed penalties of the women’s basketball team based on those findings. We went to Indianapolis and handed the self-report to the NCAA and on that day we reported to them that the Chancellor had heard this information about the men’s basketball program and a booster and the NCAA handed us a note saying, `We received similar anonymous report about that.’ So as we are handing our findings on women’s basketball to the NCAA they are handing us information about the men’s program. And that is really the triggering point. That is kind of the fulcrum, that all of a sudden we finished with women’s basketball and now we start with men’s basketball. When we started with men’s basketball, the enforcement staff stepped in and said we are going to be a part of your investigation and we want to follow up on the self-report. As they got involved in the follow up of the self-report the individuals from the women’s basketball investigation agreed to interviews. When they presented their evidence the NCAA looked at it and said `Based on what they have now said, we do not feel like a couple of things are violations.’ So in effect, the institution had taken the high road and punished themselves when at the end of the road, when we finally got the cooperation of everyone, there was not enough evidence to support violations. So at the time we self-imposed it was the appropriate penalties. Later on as we learned through the investigative process, the evidence was not there to support it. When you look at the men’s basketball program, as we went through the process we had already self-reported the violations, we had self-imposed penalties, and only had to receive more, just because of a difference in the chronology of the investigation.”
Mark Mangino, head football coach
“Good afternoon. As you’ve just heard, our administration discussed the response of the NCAA committee on infractions. Obviously, as the head football coach, we’re disappointed because not everything we do is done perfectly and properly. We have learned from this experience. I think this has been a good learning experience for us as coaches, for us as an athletic department because we have taken a situation where we have learned a lesson and we have built and we have gotten better from the lessons that we learned. I would say that we are so much better in so many areas, not just playing on the field, but in all areas and in the compliance area, we’ve learned a lot about how the compliance operation should work at an athletic department and we’ve improved it. We’ve put safeguards in place so that this will never happen again at the University of Kansas, both as an athletic department and as a football coach, we have put in safeguards. We have learned, we have moved on and just like you hear me talk about football, the games that just don’t work out the way we like. It’s history, we need to learn from it, get better from it, and move on. That’s what we’re doing as a football program. We’re going to learn from it, and we’re going to move on.”
“The number one safeguard that we put into place is that we will not let any athlete that has not graduated from their high school or junior college and been certified on our campus until we have that information. That is the number one safeguard. The second one is education for graduate assistants and education for our players and prospective student-athletes as well.”
On affecting recruiting:
“Let me say that the penalties that have been imposed by the committee we don’t take lightly. They are serious. However, even though the reduction in scholarships is a serious matter, it’s not a fatal matter. What they have done, this is just my opinion, I could be totally wrong. I think what the committee is saying is `Hey, you folks made some mistakes at Kansas. We’re going to penalize you for those mistakes because we think it’s appropriate, but we’re not trying to destroy your program. We’re trying to send a message to you that there’s a way to do things, learn from this experience, get better because of it.’ The message is, `we want you to do it the right way, but we’re not trying to bring harm to your program.’ That’s the way that I interpret it.”
“Let me give you a little background on that. The five years we’ve been here, only one season we’ve had 80. That’s the most amount of students we’ve ever had on scholarship here. Right now, I believe we’re sitting at 78 or 79 and the reason for that is because anybody that knows when you’re trying to get a program that’s been down a little bit up on it’s feet, you have to be selective about who you recruit. You’re gonna have some early attrition, which we understand. We’ve been nowhere near 85 scholarships. So we’re not in unchartered waters. In fact, we can deal with this situation.”
On needing scholarships as the program improves:
“Not necessarily (will the program need the scholarships). I can only go back to my own experiences. I was with a program that turned around and it took a long, long time to get to 85. A very long time.”
On having non-qualified athletes on campus in conjunction with the graduate assistants:
“Well, hindsight is always 20/20. Let me take you back to the situation. In December of 2003, every single junior college kid that we recruited was on track to graduate. After many of them already arrived here, we started getting transcripts on a frequent basis where there were red flags going up that these kids were already here working out that we had assumed had finished their coursework for their AA degrees, but did not. We were stuck there on campus with about six or seven of those guys. We said, `these kids have to take classes here or they have to leave.’ We told two or three kids that they were going to have to leave for sure, that they were going to be a long shot. Inconsequently, somebody discovered these course bonus courses you could take is something that was brought to my attention and some of the kids took those courses and didn’t do well on them. I want to make it very clear. We didn’t plan to bring prospective student-athletes here that were not eligible. It takes awhile for transcript service. It just kind of snowballed and we had kids stuck here on campus.”
On overseeing the graduate assistants:
“I don’t have a role overseeing the graduate assistants other than my role: to make sure that everybody is on the bus when we leave, and that everybody is on the bus when we go home from a road trip. (I have some) recruiting responsibilities on recruiting weekends to make sure prospects parents and their families have proper transportation around campus. There is nothing designated by me that had to be taken care of to ensure the academic success of any player or prospect.”
On zero tolerance should the infractions occur again:
“I have talked Chancellor Hemenway and Lew Perkins and I have had dozens of conversations about this because Lew and I both were bothered by it. No, they have never told me anything about zero tolerance. Let me be pretty up front and frank with you. I don’t need to break any rules. That’s not how I operate. I’m confident in my abilities.”
On knowledge of the situations regarding prospects and graduate assistants:
“I told you earlier when I first spoke that we have learned from this situation. I didn’t have knowledge of the situation. Let me tell you, if I had knowledge of the situation, it would have been halted or had been prevented. The fact of the matter is I work a lot of hours here, but I don’t work 24. I can’t be with everybody 24 hours a day. I’m disappointed. You know that I take everything seriously about this football program. I take nothing for granted. So you can imagine how disturbed I was when this was brought to my attention. But the graduate assistants, I don’t think they’re a serious problem. We’ve educated them better. I now call them in when we hire them and tell them the expectations and they’re fine with it. Let me tell you another thing. I don’t think that the graduate assistants that are involved in this situation are bad people. They may have made some mistakes. I don’t think those kids are bad kids at all. If anything, I think they were trying to be helpful to some people. I believe that wholeheartedly.”
On former players involved in the situation:
“I won’t mention any names about former players. I dismissed a player from the team for violation of team rules, for conduct detrimental to the team and the campus. It was about 10 days later that Lew Perkins approached me and said that he (the player) had made allegations against the football program.”
On believing the previously mentioned allegations:
“No, I do not. But I have lived with the consequences of having recruited people that didn’t belong at the University of Kansas. That’s my responsiblity. Whatever they say, you have to take them at their face value, but me personally, I don’t believe a lot of the things that were said. Some, but a lot of them I do not.”
Bonnie Henrickson, women’s head basketball coach
On clarifying the allegation:
“When we first got the report, there were seven violations, and then when the official report came back after the NCAA’s investigation, there was the one violation that was in the report. That would be illegal transportation from Naismith dorm for a young lady, who was not yet eligible, to a testing facility in Lawrence. So since she was not eligible, that’s a violation. She was provided transportation by an assistant coach.”
On the punishment:
“It’s never a positive thing. What I felt good was about our initial statement from Lew Perkins and from Chancellor Hemenway that given these seven violations that we found, this is what we are going to do. I felt like it was a statement that was good for our program that we are going to take this serious, even though it was a previous staff, that Lew and I agreed, and Chancellor Hemenway and I agreed that considering what had happened, what we knew had happened, was not what any of us wanted, but it was a step in the right direction. It sent a message that we were serious about what we were going to do in his tenure here, and certainly in my tenure in our program. Either losing two scholarships or limiting taking one coach off the road, it’s the way we had operated previously. Every other institution the year previously, we were allowed two coaches off campus. This is the first year you could have three. Honestly, there was one weekend in the spring that it probably hurt us and it involved a late night flight or an early morning flight and it really became a burden for the two of us that were on the road when everyone else had three. Actually, Lew allowed me to charter a flight to get between the event because if I’d taken a commercial flight, I would have missed half the tournament game. It handcuffed us a little, but it didn’t kill us.”
On the punishment being a long-time coming:
“We need to move forward. This has been an educational process for all of us. There’s nothing funny coming out of the trip to Baltimore, but for me it was like sitting through a scared-straight program, quite honestly. It’s been educational for me, for the staff, for the department. I have great confidence in our compliance staff. They’ve changed things already in the last eight months since Theresa Becker has been here. It’s been positive. We all want to be organized. We all want to do the right thing. Information is power and as long we’re all informed about the process, our education is good, and people want to do the right thing here, we want to win the right way. I wouldn’t have come here and worked for Lew Perkins and Chancellor Hemenway if I didn’t believe that. At the end of the day, all we have is our integrity. I feel confident that everyone here is trying to do it the right way and will do it the right way. But after today it’s time to move forward. I feel like we have, we just had to get to today and get the announcement from the committee, but now it’s time to move on.”
Bill Self, men’s head basketball coach
On expecting NCAA punishments:
“Lew and Rick and myself, we’ve talked numerous times about this. We thought that there would be a chance that something was going to happen, but to be real candid, we did not anticipate that would occur, but fortunately, I think we’re in pretty good shape. That won’t be killer, although you never like to put yourself in the position where you’re operating at a disadvantage with anybody.”
On the punishment affecting recruiting:
“I don’t think it affects at all except we’ll have 12 to operate with opposed to 13. With the team that we have on paper coming back, and with the guys that we have that could potentially not be back, we’ve been recruiting the whole with the idea that we’ll have multiple scholarships next year, just for obvious reasons. I don’t think it will affect us. I think it will affect us as far as what our game plan is maybe. The following year, if I’m not mistaken, we have six seniors. On paper, you’d say that it wouldn’t be that difficult to sign five instead of six. But next year, i guess you could make a big deal of it, but I feel like we’re going to have ample scholarships next year.”
On choosing one or the other:
“I’d have to visit with Rick more about that. The way that I anticipate handling this, I don’t see why this couldn’t be addressed immediately.”
“This year, hopefully, we’re close to being done. If that’s the case, we’re at three right now. The maximum you can ever use in a year is 12. If that were the case that we would be close to done now, we would still get our full compliment of ones next year. But there’s no telling, we may not get another committment. Who knows. We hope that we can take advantage of the maximum number next year as opposed to using some this year, and that could potentially hurt us if, in fact, we don’t finish up this years’ recruiting class the way we should.”
On scholarships being taken away from a high profile program:
“If we had a pool of players locally, that would be true, but in order to get kids to your campus at Kansas, then you’re going to have to bring them in officially, more times than not. For instance, last year, the closest home visit we went in on was eight hours. They were Chicago and south Dallas. They’re both about seven and a half, eight hours. I don’t anticipate that always being the case, but you’re probably going to need to get them to campus officially. That’s going to be one where we have to work smarter.”
On Darnell Jackson:
“Darnell served his penalty last year and Darnell felt terrible about serving his penalty. You have read the reports. In this young man’s mind, this was somebody that he had known a long time before Kansas had become a factor. By rule, he did not fit the criteria for a previous relationship. Darnell will be fine and certainly no one needs to jump on him about this because that’s already been handled. He’s paid his dues and he’ll still continue to hear about it and he’ll feel bad. We all feel bad that we even put ourselves in this position, but we’re all human too. My relationship with Darnell will not be affected one bit because the NCAA punished us one scholarship.”
On what constitutes a “prior relationship”:
“I’m not an expert on this, but since this has become a factor, I’ve become more of a somewhat expert on this. A prior relationship is one that has to be developed outside of athletics prior to ninth grade. So even if you have a prior relationship in sixth grade, but you met that relationship through athletics, that still doesn’t constitute a prior relationship. If you have a relationship that began the first day after ninth grade classes that you met through a school function, that had nothing to do with athletics, it still doesn’t fit the criteria. In this young man’s mind, this was a guy that was a mentor to him that had helped him through spiritual issues, a lot of different things, and had been kind of somewhat of a father figure. It’s unfortunate that the human interest of this story does not take precedence over this violation, because it was obviously a violation by the way of the law, no question.”
On the Darnell infraction re-arising:
“We talked about this that they may come back, but at the time we talked about this, we did not feel that based on how we handled the situation, based on as soon as we found out about it, it was addressed, based on we did everything we could to correct it, we knew there was a problem there. To be real candid, we thought nine games and repayment and some things like that would occur, we did not feel like we would be hit like this, at least I didn’t. I also believe, and Rick can address this if he wants to, but we talked about self imposing more. We talked about doing a little bit more. It was in our judgement that if they decided to do something to us, they’re going to do it. Whatever we self impose may take care of it, but it will be comparable to what they were going to hit us with anyways. We talked about it, but we didn’t feel like that was the percentage play.”
On educating the team and players about the NCAA rules:
“I never talked to Darnell once about things that he could do or couldn’t do prior to him becoming a student-athlete at Kansas. So when we signed Darnell, I did not sit down with him and say, `whatever you do from this point forward, you can not have a relationship with somebody that you’ve known since 10th grade, opposed to someone you’ve known since eighth grade.’ I did not educate him well enough in that regard, and that’s something that we need to do a better job of. We have numerous talks with our guys about do’s and dont’s. In this young man’s mind, this was family. No matter how you slice it, in this young man’s mind, this was family, and we were not aware of the guy. We were not aware of the relationship, so we never had a reason to address him specifically. We were not aware of it.”
On catching Darnell’s infraction earlier:
“You know, they say that, so I guess we should have done it. But by rule, there was no violation of him being on the ticket list. By rule, there is no violation in a coach being on a ticket list. By rule, there is no violation on that particular thing happening. If we would have been monitoring it more consistently, then we may have found it sooner, but by rule, he can be left a ticket. The NCAA does not say that you have to designate relationship when you leave somebody a ticket like they used to. A student-athlete can leave a ticket for John Doe.”
On future violations:
“I think as long as there’s college athletics and as long as there’s a rule book several hundred pages thick, and as long as there’s human beings, there’s going to be violations. There will be problems, but not with malicious intent. I don’t really feel like we needed a wake-up call about compliance. I’ve never felt that way since I’ve been here because we take compliance very seriously. Regardless of what you do, you can always do more.”